Sunday, October 26, 2008

A most boring week

Knitting-wise, of course.

I was traveling and worked on my Lorna's Laces pullover. I am almost done with the first sleeve but I'm going to have to rip back a couple of inches. I have 122 sts when I should have 114 for the top of the sleeve. I was winging the increases because I forgot to take pins with me and I must have counted wrong. Oh well. On the other hand, I may have enough yarn. I used up 1 skein at the top of the sleeve and this is the skein from which I swatched. So it is a little short. No photos as it looks almost exactly as it did before, just longer. I post pics when there is something more interesting to show.

Thank you for all your comments on the Wild Apple. It is a gorgeous design and the colors work so amazingly together. You wouldn't think so, just looking at the yarns but they blend so superbly together. I think Kerstin Olsson is a genius with color. Almost all the sweaters that I covet are her designs. Someone asked what my next Bohus will be. I am currently leaning towards a light colored one - the Rose Lace Collar or the Swan. The other two kits I have are dark - the Gray Mist and the Forest Darkness with the green background. But it won't be for a while. Maybe in the winter. I seem to start my Bohus sweaters in Jan or Feb and finish them in the summer which is a bit stupid. The yoke is relatively light and the final parts of the sweater make it heavy as I knit it all in one piece. I should start them in the summer and finish in the winter when the sweater in my lap will save me in heating bills.

Diane asked if I had made any other changes to the Sideways Cardigan besides adding a repeat to lengthen it. I just added one repeat of the lace panel and the wave pattern on the body. I didn't do the neck finishing called for in the pattern. I substituted a round of single crochet that I worked all the way around the cardigan. I didn't like the difference between the cast-on and bind-off edges on the sleeves contrasted with the side edges where one picks up for the yoke and knits up. So I decided to make it more even by doing the crochet. Another change to think about is to add a button band. There is a button-hole band but the buttons are sewn on to the front itself. If I had to re-do it, I'd add a button band.

I know I also owe you photos of my Rhinebeck acquisitions. Maybe I'll save that for next week.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall means Rhinebeck

I spent a couple of hours at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival today. Usually I spend a whole day there but I have a lot of things to do and I couldn't afford the time. I have been going to the Sheep and Wool Festival, which is held in Rhinebeck NY, for at least a decade now. I don't go every year, but I go as often as I can. Some things about the festival have changed, and some are still the same.

Usually I get there early so I park close to the gate and I have rarely run into traffic on the way. Today I got there only around 11:30 after my morning activities were completed. I crawled all the way through the village of Rhinebeck due to the traffic. I am pretty sure I parked about a mile away from the gate.

Over the years, the festival has become more and more popular and the crowds have increased. In some of the barns, it was hard to even move. I had a list of vendors I wanted to visit and it was sorted in order of the buildings where their booths were. So I was making a beeline from one vendor to the other, and not browsing. That was the opposite of everyone else there was doing, and sometimes it was tough to make progress through the barn. But I got what I wanted and made it ahead of my self-imposed schedule.

The festival organizers have made Saturday a family day so there are lots of activities and demonstrations. This increases the crowd on Saturday. I remember the days when it was just animals, yarn and fleeces.

One thing that hasn't changed is the color of the leaves as I drive up north. It is always a joy to drive through the bright colors and enjoy the crisp snap of leaves as we walk through the fairgrounds.

I was looking for buttons so I visited Sheila Ernst, Moving Mud, as well as a number of soap makers as I was looking for salves and soaps for dry skin. I got salves from Black Berry Hill, and Heal My Hands. Clove Valley Soapworks and Merriweather 's are two local soap makers that I discovered. All in all a fun day.

I almost always run into people I know at the festival, and today was no exception. It was a nice surprise to run into Steph though. A number of my out-of-town friends come in for the festival and we usually have a meet-up. But I didn't have time to hang around for it and I assumed I wouldn't see any of them in the crowd. I ran into Steph, however, and was able admire her scarf and lovely coat in person. Another surprise was Jennie the Potter, who I met at Knitting Camp.

I wore my Wild Apple and a few people recognized it and commented on it. One woman even took my photograph. It was a breezy, cool day and everyone around me was wearing a coat or a heavy sweater. I had my Earth Stripe Wrap with me but I was nice and toasty in the Wild Apple.

And, for your pleasure, here it is. All blocked and nice.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sewing up day

This post is late because I wanted to show you the first FO as part of the post. Thank you for all the compliments on the Wild Apple.

I spent all day sewing and I have two FOs to show for it. One I had already announced, but it wasn't really complete as I had buttons to sew on.

Anyway, the big news is that the Wild Apple is done. It took all day to finish the various hems since I was doing it in between other tasks. Therefore, the picture is not very good, as it was taken in the dark without a flash. The flash pictures were overexposed so I prefer this. I need to block it and I will take better photos then. It is completed just in time for Rhinebeck next weekend! As you can see, it needs blocking. There are gathers around the yoke that will disappear when the stranded colorwork is blocked. Also, it has been dragged all over the country - in my computer backpack as well as in various other bags, and I'm sure it is very dirty.
This is a photo of the faced side seam slits. If you ever hear me planning to mattress stitch fuzzy dark yarn at 9 spi, call in the white coats immediately. I had to pull out the magnifier and the daylight lamp (in the daytime) to see well enough to finish these slits. In contrast, the hemming was a breeze.

I don't like hems and I don't think I'm going to do hems again. Also, I am going up a needle size for my next Bohus. I have about 25% of the last skein left. My previous Bohus sweaters have had a whole skein left over. I lengthened the sleeves a bit because the others always make me feel as if the sleeves are too short, even though they hang just right. They ride up so I added some length to try and prevent this.

Here is the other FO. It is the Sideways cardigan from the Spring/Summer 2008 Vogue Knitting. The one on the cover. I think the buttons are perfect. I had a very tough time finding buttons with a blue undertone to match the yarn. Most pinks and reds have a yellow undertone. These are a lovely burgundy with a wood grain like finish. They look casual but add a punch.

I have to get back to thinking about the Lorna's Laces sweater now that the Wild Apple is done. I work on one project at a time because I can't deal with trying to recreate my mind-set for each project. I tend to think about a project a lot as I knit it, planning what I'm going to do and analyzing what is going on. If I break that train of thought, it takes a while to get back into it.

But for now, I'm going to relish the feeling of accomplishment for at least a day or two.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The end is in sight!

I just finished the colorwork on one sleeve and I had to take pictures to show off. I chose the last round of apples from the yoke and made the main color the background for the last round instead of the new background color that is introduced in the yoke. I'm pretty pleased with the result. I did one more round of main color and then a turning round for the hem so the colorwork will be right at the cuff. Now I have about 11 rounds of hem to do before that sleeve is done. One more cuff to go and then it is all sewing up.
I thought I would also leave you with a tip on how I count and manage increases/decreases. I think I got this from one of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books but I don't remember. I count off as many coil-less pins as I need for the shaping. In the case of this sweater that was 45 for the sleeves. I pin them all in a big clump to the knitting. As I do each increase/decrease, I move one pin from the clump to that st. I pin right into the st that is the decrease or the increase.

Then all I have to do is count up from the last pin for the number of rows/rounds between each shaping action. In this case it was every 4 rounds. So all I had to do was count off 3 rounds. In this fuzzy, fine yarn it was hard to see sts so I counted the holes in the middle of each st. When all the pins are gone from the clump, the shaping is over.

If there are variations in the number of rounds between the shaping, it is easy to see the difference in spacing between the pins.

I hope next week's post will feature a completed sweater.